Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Vs Outback Steakhouse: How Do They Stack Up?

In the heart of American culinary culture, where few can resist the sizzle of a perfectly grilled steak, two restaurant chains stand out in the world of steakhouse dining. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse are iconic establishments that have etched their names into the American steakhouse landscape, each with a unique history and signature dishes that have captivated steak enthusiasts nationwide.

Ruth's Chris Steak House has origins dating back to the mid-20th century and has become synonymous with upscale dining and unparalleled steak craftsmanship. Known for introducing the world to the signature method of serving steaks on 500-degree plates (ensuring each bite arrives at the table sizzling and succulent), Ruth's Chris steadily gained renown for its commitment to prime cuts of beef, impeccable service, and an elegant dining experience. On the flip side, Outback Steakhouse has brought a down-to-earth, Aussie-inspired twist to the American steakhouse scene since it opened its doors in the late 1980s. Boasting an Outback-style seasoning blend and a menu infused with Australian-inspired dishes, the chain quickly resonated with diners seeking a more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, contributing to Outback's rise to prominence as a beloved, accessible steakhouse option.

However, despite aiming to serve the best steak in the country, both steakhouses have a number of differences that could either make or break your dining experience. Read on to see which is better as we compare and contrast the sizzling steaks and distinctive factors defining these two culinary institutions.


When it comes to the price spectrum, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Outback Steak House stand at opposite ends, catering to distinct dining experiences and budgets. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, renowned for its fine dining ambiance and commitment to top-tier ingredients, boasts a menu where the height of luxury is best represented by the Tomahawk Ribeye, priced at a substantial $136.60, while the average price per item hovers around $26.56. This highlights the establishment's commitment to offering a premium dining experience and meticulous service.

In stark contrast, Outback Steakhouse positions itself as a fast-casual dining option, where hearty meals come with a more wallet-friendly price tag. For instance, the Outback Center-Cut Sirloin Party Platter takes the crown as the priciest item at $51.82, while the menu's average price per item is a more accessible $15.50. This pricing structure aligns with the fast-casual dining model, making Outback Steakhouse an attractive option for those looking to savor quality meals without breaking the bank. While Ruth's Chris Steakhouse justifies its higher price range with the added value of top-quality beef, excellent service, and a fancy dining atmosphere, Outback Steakhouse wins this round by providing a still delicious experience for less.


When it comes to satisfying meaty cravings, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse delivers with a bold claim of serving the finest steaks globally and prides itself on a perfected broiling method that promises an exquisite culinary journey. Plus, their USDA Prime beef, carefully cooked to perfection, arrives at the table on a scorching 500 degrees Fahrenheit plate to make sure your last bite is as good (and hot) as your first. But don't just take the chain's word for it. A TripAdvisor reviewer had great things to say about the restaurant's steak. "We ordered our steak 'blue' and received it, so the beef nearly melted in our mouth."

On the other hand, Outback Steakhouse offers steaks of substantial size with budget-friendly appeal, making them a formidable contender in hearty, satisfying meals. Yet TripAdvisor reviews for Outback Steakhouse's steak include some from customers who expressed disappointment in the cooking method, describing the steak as initially fried like a burger, while others found fault in the peppery seasoning. Nevertheless, amidst the critiques, there are positive voices; one reviewer says Outback Steakhouse is the go-to destination for the "best steaks around."


In this appetizer duel, the win goes towards the diverse and abundant selection at Outback Steakhouse. Outback Steakhouse takes the lead with an impressive selection of 20 appetizers (with some of them aptly named Aussie-Tizers), showcasing a menu rich in variety. One standout is the legendary and delicious blooming onion, an iconic creation featuring a colossal onion delicately battered and deep-fried to a golden perfection that has become synonymous with the Outback experience. Moreover, a TripAdvisor reviewer comments that this appetizer is "always delicious," and others echo this enthusiasm, cementing its status as a beloved fan favorite.

While Outback Steakhouse triumphs in variety and boasts a crowd-pleaser like the blooming onion, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse's appetizers are crafted with a commitment to culinary finesse.

Opting for a more curated approach, the establishment presents just nine internationally inspired appetizers, each prepared to order using fresh, high-quality ingredients. The focus is on delivering a sophisticated intro to the main course, with each appetizer designed to complement any entrée seamlessly. However, they don't receive the same level of acclaim in online reviews, as noted by a TripAdvisor reviewer who found the appetizers at Ruth's Chris to be "okay" and "tasty enough."

Wine selection

As with most items on their menus, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse showcase their distinct approaches to wine selections. Still, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse offers a more extensive selection that spans the globe. With a focus on quality, Ruth's Chris curates a wine list with 15 red wines, eight white wines, and five champagnes and sparkling wines, catering to a spectrum of preferences and pairings. Complementing this rich selection are over 20 cocktails, aperitifs, and dessert cocktails, providing customers with an expansive array of beverage options to enhance their dining experience.

On the other hand, Outback Steakhouse opts for a concise approach to boozy beverages. The wine selection at Outback is more limited, featuring only four wines amidst a broader array of beers and a modest selection of cocktails. Nevertheless, the choice between the two ultimately comes down to whether you seek the refined elegance of a broader wine selection or the relaxed charm of a laid-back drink menu.

Menu options

When it comes to the number of menu items, Outback Steakhouse takes the lead with a menu that stands out for its extensive offerings. Both establishments cover the quintessential steakhouse categories — including sides, appetizers, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, steaks, seafood, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and desserts — but Outback has a wider variety of menu options. The comprehensive selection at Outback ensures that diners have many choices, catering to a broad spectrum of tastes and cravings.

One notable distinction is Outback's commitment to family-friendly dining, which is evident in its dedicated kids' menu. This thoughtful inclusion provides young diners with a selection of familiar and appealing options such as chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, and ice cream. Additionally, Outback Steakhouse introduces flexibility through combos and limited-time offers, adding an element of excitement and variety to the dining experience. Moreover, the treatment of main courses and sides shows a noteworthy contrast between the menu dynamics of both steakhouses. While Outback takes an all-in-one approach by including side dishes with its main courses, at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, sides are ordered separately.

Dress Code

Restaurant dress codes play a pivotal role in shaping the dining experience, serving multiple purposes that extend beyond the mere choice of attire. At the heart of this practice are several considerations that contribute to the overall atmosphere of a restaurant, creating a visual language that sets the tone for the dining experience, as well as respect for tradition and customer comfort within an establishment. Whether it's the casual charm of a café or the refined elegance of a fine-dining establishment like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, the dress code plays a crucial role in establishing the desired ambiance.

That being said, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse enforces a smart casual dress code, encouraging customers to opt for business casual attire (aka collared shirts, slacks, dresses, or skirts). While formality is not mandatory, the recommendation to dress neatly and avoid overly casual clothing, such as shorts, flip-flops, or sportswear, aligns with the commitment to maintaining a certain level of refinement. In contrast, Outback Steakhouse, as a fast-casual dining spot, adopts a more relaxed approach with no formal dress code in place. This flexibility fosters an inclusive environment where people can enjoy a hearty meal without the constraints of a specific dress requirement. Given that the restaurants' dress codes (or lack thereof) align with each of their vision, you'll have to decide whether having to comply with a dress code or not fits with your vision for the evening.

Nationwide locations

In the grand landscape of nationwide locations for these steakhouse chains, the footprint of Outback and Ruth's Chris reveals different patterns of expansion. Outback Steakhouse boasts almost 700 locations nationwide, solidifying its position as a go-to choice for steak enthusiasts across the country. Moreover, Florida emerges as a steak haven hosting the highest number of Outback Steakhouse locations, with an impressive 97 restaurants dotting the Sunshine State. Plus, the Outback phenomenon transcends U.S. borders, extending its reach globally with over 1,000 locations across the globe as of 2022. From North America to South America, Asia to Australia, the Outback brand has become synonymous with hearty, flavorful meals that resonate with diverse palates worldwide.

On the other hand, while it has been more selective in its geographical spread, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse maintains a presence in 37 states within the U.S., totaling 133 restaurants in North America. The focus on quality over quantity is evident in Ruth's Chris' approach to expansion, ensuring that each location reflects the brand's commitment to fine dining and exceptional steak craftsmanship. Outback Steakhouse is likely to be accessible to most diners in North America, with a vast network that spans the entire U.S. In contrast, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, with a more strategic and discerning approach, caters to a select audience.

Private events

When it comes to hosting private events, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse excels in providing a sophisticated and personalized approach, offering a tailored and customizable experience with a spectrum of options to meet the diverse needs of its clientele. This service option is a testament to the brand's commitment to delivering more than just a meal but an unforgettable experience. At Ruth's Chris, groups of all sizes are accommodated, ranging from intimate gatherings to large-scale events. The private dining areas are adorned with tasteful décor and furnished with all the essential amenities, creating a setting ideal for various events. Whether it's a birthday celebration, a wedding rehearsal dinner, a quarterly business meeting, or a cocktail hour networking event, these spaces ensure the success of any occasion.

Additionally, the attention to detail extends to the provision of a dedicated private dining manager who collaborates with clients to craft a personalized event. On the contrary, Outback Steakhouse does not offer a specific service for hosting these types of events, reflecting its emphasis on a fast-casual and laid-back dining experience. This positions Outback as a go-to spot for spontaneous meals and casual get-togethers rather than curated private events.

Discounts and coupons

According to Knoji, Outback Steakhouse takes the lead in the frequency of discounts and promotions, offering a range of enticing deals to cater to a diverse clientele. Not only does Outback provide more frequent promotions, but it also extends discounts to specific groups, such as veterans and members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Per the site, AARP members, when presenting their valid membership card, enjoy a 10% discount on their entire check, showcasing Outback's commitment to making their dining experience more accessible. Similarly, Outback Steakhouse pays tribute to military veterans, service members, police, firefighters, first responders, nurses, doctors, and medical staff by offering a 10% discount on their entire check every day, demonstrating a gesture of gratitude for their service.

In contrast, while Ruth's Chris Steakhouse doesn't engage in the same frequency of discounts and targeted promotions, it does offer an alternative benefit through the availability of gift cards. These gift cards, valid at any Ruth's Chris Steak House in the United States, provide you with the flexibility to enjoy the restaurant's offerings in its dining rooms or bars or through online orders. Lastly, both steakhouses align with the modern trend of accessibility through online platforms, being eligible for Uber Eats' and Amazon's Steak Houses Deals promo codes and discounts, extending their reach to those seeking the steakhouse experience from the comfort of their homes.

Specialty Diets

Regarding catering to specialty diets, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse takes the lead with a more tailored and inclusive stance. The steakhouse distinguishes itself by providing options for a variety of specialty diets, facilitating a pleasant and inclusive dining experience for those following keto, vegetarian, low-calorie, and gluten-free regimens. The steakhouse goes the extra mile by curating different menus for each specialty diet, ensuring a comprehensive array of choices across various categories.

For example, for those adhering to a gluten-free diet, Ruth's Chris presents a dedicated menu featuring items such as shrimp cocktails, roasted asparagus, and a decadent flourless chocolate cake. The keto menu caters to the low-carb lifestyle with options like cremini mushrooms, lettuce wedges with bacon and bleu cheese, and barbecued shrimp. Meanwhile, the vegetarian menu showcases inventive dishes like roasted broccoli steak, vegetable linguini, and a delightful finale with berries and sweet cream. Lastly, the chain addresses the needs of those watching their calorie intake, offering a low-calorie menu that includes a starter, entrée, and side, all under 750 calories. This meticulous curation ensures a flavorful dining experience while adhering to your dietary preferences or restrictions.

On the contrary, while Outback Steakhouse offers a wide selection on its menu, it doesn't provide customers with specialized menus for these diets. While you may find options within the extensive menu selection, the absence of dedicated menus may make it more challenging for those with specific dietary requirements to make informed choices.

Catering service

Both Outback and Ruth's Chris Steakhouses happily extend their culinary expertise beyond the confines of their establishments. Outback Steakhouse has embraced catering services at select locations. The accessibility of catering services extends to a substantial number of Outback Steakhouse outlets, with 481 restaurants now offering this convenient option, featuring a catering menu designed to accommodate groups of 10 or more, offering both buffet-style and individual boxed entrees. Per the site, Outback's catering menu includes favorites like the beloved Alice Springs Chicken, Victoria's Filet Mignon, and the crowd-pleasing Kookaburra Wings, showcasing a selection of their signature dishes. Notably, they go a step further with unique options such as a build-your-own burger bar, allowing for a customizable touch to events.

On the other hand, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse offers a catering service that promises a personalized celebration tailored to your specific taste and budget. Going beyond just the menu, Ruth's Chris elevates the catering experience by providing a dedicated sales manager plus a team of executive chefs, certified bartenders, and trained servers committed to ensuring that the event unfolds seamlessly and exceeds expectations, underlining Ruth's Chris' commitment to delivering a high-end dining experience even outside their doors. In this arena, both steakhouses contribute to the diverse landscape of catering services, with Outback highlighting variety and customization, while Ruth's Chris prioritizes an elevated, personalized touch.

Our Methodology

The recommendations in this article comparing Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse come from the information found on various online sources. First, we considered the details about menus, services, and special features provided on the restaurant's official websites. Additionally, real customer experiences, as shared in online reviews, were also part of our analysis. Lastly, expert opinions from blogs and articles have added more insights, helping us understand the food, atmosphere, and overall experiences at Ruth's Chris and Outback. By looking at all these different sources, we aim to provide a well-rounded and informed comparison of these two popular steakhouse chains.